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Positive Data on Novo Nordisk Candidate

Zacks Equity Research

Novo Nordisk (NVO) recently announced the successful completion of a single dose phase I study on OI362GT (NN1954).

OI362GT is a long-acting oral basal insulin analogue being developed as a tablet treatment for type I and type II diabetes.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo and active controlled study evaluated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (exposure of drug) and pharmacodynamics (effect on blood glucose levels) of the candidate.

Merrion and Novo Nordisk’s association goes back to Nov 2008 when the companies entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's OI362GT, using Merrion's GIPET technology (Gastrointestinal Permeation Enhancement Technology). As per the agreement, Merrion is entitled to receive development, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments as well as royalties on sales.
We are pleased with Novo Nordisk’s efforts to strengthen its presence in the diabetes market. Currently, Novo Nordisk is looking towards its two newly approved diabetes drugs, Tresiba and Ryzodeg, for driving long-term growth.

In Jan 2013, Novo Nordisk received approval in the EU (covering all 27 states) for both Tresiba and Ryzodeg. In the EU, Novo Nordisk is planning to launch Tresiba first and Ryzodeg a year later. Tresiba and Ryzodeg will be available in Novo Nordisk’s latest prefilled insulin pen named FlexTouch in Europe. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (:MHLW) approved Tresiba and Ryzodeg for the treatment of diabetes in September and Dec 2012, respectively.

Novo Nordisk currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Currently, companies like Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI), UCB (UCBJF) and WuXi Pharma Tech (Cayman) Inc. (WX) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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